by Britta Reque-Dragicevic
This first appeared in Britta’s blog, “Life After War” on August 6, 2019, and is republished with the author’s permission.
What if our experiences are meaningful, but our emotions are not?
What if the things we did made a difference to a nation?
What if our lives can be joyous even though our days are not?
What if the things we feel are not as real as the things we achieved?
What if the brothers we left are proud of us?
What if there is nothing to forgive?
What if ‘why’ does not really matter?
What if our families really are proud of us?
What if they knew the hard things we did and approved?
What if we really can talk to people and they will accept us?
What if everything did not have to be so serious?
What if the blood we caused was justly shed?
What if we really do have worth?
What if being what we are now is more important than what we were?
What if we made a difference to someone today?
What if we don’t die again today?
What if we weren’t numb to those who love us?
What if we did something useful today?
What if there is one more brother we can help out still?
What if life could be enjoyed again?
What if we were still strong?
What if we still lived with courage?
What if being a husband, father, employee, was every bit as important as defending?
What if we are wrong about us?
What if the country was truly grateful?
What if “thank you for your service” was heartfelt?
What if our view of life is too small? Too dingy?
What if we still matter?
What if 22 of us did not shoot ourselves today?
What if the heart is mightier than the gun? The soul stronger than the sun?
What if all the aches and injuries are worth the sacrifice?
What if someone really can understand?
What if the next thing we live for is more important than the last thing we did?
What if it was not all our fault?
What if we are not failures?
What if good things were because of our effort and bad stuff just happens sometimes?
What if rainy days are just that and not an indictment of our character failings?
What if there is still a way to be who we are without having to go back?
What if we did not live in the past?
What if we were fully present for those who are still with us?
What if it were not all about us but about nations and families?
What if we let someone help?
What if we could let it go and just be?
What if we looked forward to another sunrise?
What if angry did not define our day?
What if we were not hooked on booze or pills or porn?
What if our prayers are heard?
What if help and relief are right in front of us but we are too angry to see it?
What if life were not about the losses but the gains?
What if we just took one first step?
What if the losses help us grow?
What if Christmas were still Christmas?
What if we led the family prayer at Thanksgiving?
What if we still loved a challenge?
What if we were already facing one?
What if our experience and pain will make us better?
What if they will help another be better?
What if we could teach what we have learned about life, sacrifice, & service?
What if the country needs that more than ever?
What if we got the most out of whatever life there is left to us?
What if we are a gift to someone else’s life today?
What if the family is not better off without us?
What if we are not better off without them?
What if there is still brotherhood?
What if God really is here with us?